Jump to content
Online Baptist Community
  • Newest Sermon Entry

    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

So How Does A Person Get Saved?


Donillo

Recommended Posts

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

No consensus here on how one is saved and all say the bible says this and that. God uses different means but all through Christ. But there has to be knowledge of the new birth, a point where a person has been born again. If we love God then we love others. You can't make the bible tell you that you are saved, for it is something that the Holy spirit does In your heart.

 

There certainly is a consensus Donillo.  We are saved by grace, by making repentance towards God and putting our faith in, turning our lives over to Jesus Christ.  There is no work we can do to get into heaven, none of deserve it, our best works are as filthy rags.  There is none righteous, no not one.  We are only righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ and only once has made repentance towards God and put his faith in the Savior.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member

Interesting question.

 

But I think you have to back up a minute.  What does salvation mean?  This is something I am not sure I entirely know the answer to.  When I was a child, I was taught a person is saved by saying a prayer repeated after a preacher or friend.  I now no longer believe that.  Salvation is much more complex.  I do not think it is a one time thing, but an on going process.  To start the process, one must make a decision to become a disciple or follower of Jesus.  But God will work on them throughout their entire lives. 

 

So what does it mean that one "got saved?"  I honestly do not know.  I really hate that term.  I prefer to say once made a decision to follow or become a disciple of Jesus. 

 

Yes, a single event is part of salvation.  Even children raised in the church, such as my own, who follow Jesus as far as they can understand, will have to decide to become a disciple on their own.  Right now, I have planted them in fertile soil and hope that faith takes root. It very well might.  I have a friend who is a clear follower of Jesus who never remembers not believing.  It was something he grew into and at some point decided to make his own.  So when was he saved?  I don't know but I do know he is a follower of Jesus.  I had another friend in college who grew into faith during a summer when he took a New Testament class.  He did not "pray a prayer," but there was undoubtedly a change.  Yet one of my good friends who "prayed a prayer" at 9 years old is not a follower of Christ and is a self proclaimed agnostic today.  so salvation is a very complicated thing. 

 

Yet it is so simple as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Interesting question.

 

But I think you have to back up a minute.  What does salvation mean?  This is something I am not sure I entirely know the answer to.  When I was a child, I was taught a person is saved by saying a prayer repeated after a preacher or friend.  I now no longer believe that.  Salvation is much more complex.  I do not think it is a one time thing, but an on going process.  To start the process, one must make a decision to become a disciple or follower of Jesus.  But God will work on them throughout their entire lives. 

 

So what does it mean that one "got saved?"  I honestly do not know.  I really hate that term.  I prefer to say once made a decision to follow or become a disciple of Jesus. 

 

Yes, a single event is part of salvation.  Even children raised in the church, such as my own, who follow Jesus as far as they can understand, will have to decide to become a disciple on their own.  Right now, I have planted them in fertile soil and hope that faith takes root. It very well might.  I have a friend who is a clear follower of Jesus who never remembers not believing.  It was something he grew into and at some point decided to make his own.  So when was he saved?  I don't know but I do know he is a follower of Jesus.  I had another friend in college who grew into faith during a summer when he took a New Testament class.  He did not "pray a prayer," but there was undoubtedly a change.  Yet one of my good friends who "prayed a prayer" at 9 years old is not a follower of Christ and is a self proclaimed agnostic today.  so salvation is a very complicated thing. 

 

Yet it is so simple as well.

 

I'm so sorry to hear you say this KOB.

 

Man has made the Gospel complex and wrong by adding works to it.  

 

The moment a person makes repentance towards God and puts their trust in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit immediately indwells them and their name is written in the book of life.  They cannot lose their salvation.

 

Salvation is NOT a process, sanctification is.

 

Now what does "repentance" (in the context of salvation) and "faith" (in the context of salvation) mean?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

16But they have not all OBeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.   Romans 10:13-17

 

Salvation in a nutshell. Someone must go and preach, so the lost can hear and believe. Even with Paul, Jesus Himself went and preached to him, so to speak. And when they believe, they call for salvation and are saved.

 

Just "praying a prayer' is not it. Calling upon the Lord IS a part of it, but so is belief, and know WHAT to believe. Don't got to know everything, clearly, but even the proverbial child k nows when they have done wrong and that punishment will come if things are not made right. That's why I remember my sister, as a child, smacking my brother in the head right in front of my father, then running up to my father and saying, "I love you, daddy!". She knew she was in trouble and was trying, vainly, to make it right before punishment fell. So we must know who God is, know why we are in trouble and what has been done about it, so we can seek forgiveness and salvation. A single event, though growth is a life-long thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,
how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day
according to the scriptures:  1 Corinthians 15:3-4

 

Christ died for OUR sins (took them upon himself)

and then ROSE from the dead (satisfying God).

When you first know this, then you have to make a "decision".

Either you recognize God's forgiveness and apply it to yourself, or your sin remains "upon yourself".

The "ego" must "die", or your pride will prevent you from receiving forgivness and eternal life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

No, on that day I made repentance toward God and put my faith in Jesus Christ.

 

There is more, some time earlier my wife had given to me the book, The Case for Christ, I read it to disprove once and for all God and the bible.  I didn't win and thank heavens for that!

 

My only memory of someone witnessing to me (the exact conversation is lost, don't even know if it was biblical) was at the BEQ lounge at Glenview Naval Air Station in the summer of 1986.  That night a former sailor and wanderer told me he traveled the country going wherever the Lord needed him to go.  He talked to me about the Lord but I soon changed the topic.  I was the chief mocker of all things God in my family, though while in uniform I faked it.  Used to make sport out of running those anti-abortion people off the sidewalks with my muscle car; it's a miracle that God chose to forgive all that I had done against him and still keeps my name in the book despite all the wrongs I continue to do.  Were there others?  I cannot remember, there were certainly some I never gave a second's worth of my time to try though.  

 

Just as the savage in the jungle is responsible to God, my salvation was similar.

 

Ah, got it bro, thanks. KInd reply too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

No consensus here on how one is saved and all say the bible says this and that. God uses different means but all through Christ. But there has to be knowledge of the new birth, a point where a person has been born again. If we love God then we love others. You can't make the bible tell you that you are saved, for it is something that the Holy spirit does In your heart.

l John 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I agree that many children are forced into salvation.  I have seen it in my church.  I remember my niece, going to the altar, after an invitation by an evangelist, remaining kneeling at the altar.  One of the woman went to the altar to pray with her.  My FIL had good intentions, but he asked this woman, "Did she get saved, did she get saved?"   The woman said, "No.  She didn't put her faith and trust in Jesus Christ."  My niece was very young.  Several years later, her younger brother professed to be saved.  Then, she immediately said that she was saved.  I watch them in church.  Neither of them take a song book to sing.  Neither of them take their Bibles to church.  I truly do not think they are saved.  I believe it was sibling rivalry with them.  My nephew decided he would say he got saved, then his older sister followed.

In the IFB church that I was a member of for 4 years, they don't push salvation upon the children.  They wait patiently on the Holy Spirit to do His jOB.  Many of those children were in their teenage years before they got saved.  However, they show fruits of their salvation and they also know the way to get to heaven is by faith in Jesus Christ.

I have talked with my pastor's wife about how many church members push the children into salvation, when they aren't convicted of the Holy Spirit.  Many teenagers and adults, in my church, have come forward years later, and confessed they needed to know Christ as Personal Saviour.  Well meaning parents and grandparents should step back and let the Holy Spirit work, rather than pushing the Spirit.

This takes me back to when I thought I was saved in 1998.  A Baptist friend had me say the "Sinners Prayer."  I thought I was saved.  I bought a KJV Bible and began to read and study it.  I began witnessing to people, as well.  It wasn't until I gained head knowledge in my church that I was saved May 10, 2003 (Mother's Day Weekend) in the hospital after an Epileptic Seizure.  I told everyone I came into contact with that weekend, in my hospital bed, that I was a born again Christian.  I also chased away a few doctors who came to check on me.  The hospital finally sent in a former Baptist preacher to talk to me.  We prayed together and the Holy Spirit reassured me of my salvation.      

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Our wayward son was in attendance at an evangelistic service when he was 16 or 17 and I do believe he was under Holy Ghost conviction but he was fighting it. The helpers (I don't recall what they actually called them) who spoke with him afterward used a good deal of emotional appeal with him and talked him into saying a "sinners prayer" and proclaimed him saved.

 

Afterward he said all the right things but something to me didn't seem right, though I hoped for the best. It didn't take long before the emotion of it all wore off and it was evident there had been no repentance, no change of heart, no surrendering to Christ. He once again told me the same thing he had told me on previous occasions when I had shared the Gospel with him and talked with him about it. Unfortunately, that's still his position today.

 

According to our wayward son, he does believe Jesus is who the Bible says He is and does believe Jesus is the only way of salvation, being right with God, going to heaven, avoiding hell, etc. He claims he would like to follow Jesus but he wants the things of the world, he doesn't want to deny his flesh, he wants to do what he wants to do.

 

We continue to pray for him, of course, but it is looking as if this will be a long battle. Since he's moved out he's shown no interest at all in the things of God. No interest in the Bible (when he moved out he left his Bible here, claiming he didn't have room to pack it, yet he found room to pack some snow boots someone had given him...he moved to Florida, no need for snow boots there; and as we know, always a need for the Bible) and he's not interested in finding a church to attend.

 

One of the nearby churches often pushes getting children and youth "saved and baptized" but it's not biblical salvation, and depending upon who the current pastor happens to be (they go through a lot of pastors), sometimes they are teaching that baptism is necessary for salvation. I've seen so many go through that church, grow up in that church, "get saved and baptized" and as soon as they are out of the house and off to college they are dressing immodestly, getting drunk, sleeping around, and yet they are under the false belief they are good with God and most often their parents believe that too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

If he cannot recall a single point in time where he was hearing or reading the Gospel (death, burial and resurrection of Jesus) preached, felt an undeniable conviction of sin, God's righteousness and judgment to come and at this point changed his entire outlook on God calling out to God to save him, then No, he is not born again. He is just one of many tares within IFB churches.

 

His story however is less common than what I think is the most common tare in IFB churches though.

 

Wow! Didn't think it was such a difficult thing to become a believer in Jesus Christ. Let's see, how many steps was there? 5?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Wow! Didn't think it was such a difficult thing to become a believer in Jesus Christ. Let's see, how many steps was there? 5?

 

Well, now you finally know so get busy :boxing:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I have a testimony of a lady who had been a member of her church for 50 years and had witnessed to the lost and did many other great things in the church thinking for many years that she was saved. one Sunday her church had a visiting pastor that preached on salvation, the Holly Spirit begin to convict her heart and when the pastor gave the alter call she came forward and trusted Jesus as her savior, she was 85 years old , her testimony is a bible tract which I gave out for a while and I'm looking to see if I have anymore left and if I do I'll try and post it hear, it's a blessing and well worth the time to read for the many whom may think they're saved by works.

 

God bless   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I have a testimony of a lady who had been a member of her church for 50 years and had witnessed to the lost and did many other great things in the church thinking for many years that she was saved. one Sunday her church had a visiting pastor that preached on salvation, the Holly Spirit begin to convict her heart and when the pastor gave the alter call she came forward and trusted Jesus as her savior, she was 85 years old , her testimony is a bible tract which I gave out for a while and I'm looking to see if I have anymore left and if I do I'll try and post it hear, it's a blessing and well worth the time to read for the many whom may think they're saved by works.

 

God bless   

 

I suspect brother Smith that there may be a few currently on this site who have no clear testimony of their new birth.

 

Without recollection of a single point in time where they clearly heard the Gospel and OBEYED the Gospel, calling out to God to save them and afterward realized a new life, outlook and vision of the world...then they were never born again and are very religious and very lost.

 

Oh they understand very well with their heads and can hold their own in any discussion of the Word, they are still lost. The world is full of people who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ but they never as of yet have believed ON Him.

 

If this post saddens, upsets or angers you, you best stop what you are doing and search yourself..you may be a tare. What, do you think the tares our Lord refers to know they are tares? This is why I post this.

 

No apologies on this post and this one is not opinion and is authoritative. "having a form of Godliness but denying the POWER thereof". The POWER is the new birth.

 

You can have everything locked in your head, you can know more than all, but without the new birth it will equal damnation.

 

I suspect there are vast numbers who have simply adopted fundamental Bible Christianity over time as their "religion".  They have worked at it, learned it and OBeyed Jesus's teachings and the Apostles as best anyone could but were NEVER born again. If this is you than you are lost and without hope. You simply chose or fell into or inherited fundamental Bible Christianity as your religion instead of catholicism or islam or Mormonism, etc. 

BUT IT IS NEVER TOO LATE WHILE YOU STILL BREATH.

 

Think about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

 

If this post saddens, upsets or angers you, you best stop what you are doing and search yourself..you may be a tare. What, do you think the tares our Lord refers to know they are tares? This is why I post this.

 

 

Whoah. I get what you're saying, but to say that if someone disagrees with your post they better make sure they're really saved is rather presumptuous, eh?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member

Swath asked what repentance and faith means.  Those are very good questions.  One I am not sure I can answer.  I have struggled with the meaning of these words in the context of salvation.

 

Repentance.  It means to turn around or to turn away. But how does one do that?  What must we turn from?  Does it mean turning away from a particular sin we struggle with?  Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more.  Surely she still struggled with her sin after that.  She was still tempted, I imagine, as we all are.  I know I have an ongoing struggle.  Always have and always will.  So does repentance indicate I will never sin again?  I don't think that is what it means.  It means that my way of thought has changed.  Instead of filling my mind with things that will "water seeds of evil" so to speak, I fill my mind with the teachings of Christ.  My mind has turned.  So instead of dwelling on thoughts of anger and bitterness, I dwell on thoughts of love and compassion.  Instead of dwelling on lustful thoughts.  I dwell on thoughts of love.  I will always struggle with sin.  There will always be seeds of sin within us that if given proper conditions will grow.  There will also be seeds of good in us, that if watered will grow into the fruits of the Spirit.  So I tend to believe repentance is a change of what our mind dwells on.  When Jesus told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more, it was much deeper than the outward manifestation of sin.  It was her heart.  Before, she desired sex or companionship with one other than her husband.  Now, she desires to learn the teachings of Christ and follow them.  Paul struggled and indicated the things he does not want to do he does, and things he wants to do he does not do.  Yet Paul had repented.  So the struggle will persist, but it is about our minds and how we will water the seeds that are in our hearts.  At our foundation, we have anger, laziness, greed, lust, impatience, selfishness, etc.  Prior to Christ, we tend to create an atmosphere in which those things will flourish.  Instead, we need to fill our minds to water the seeds of love, joy, peace patience, kindness that is within us.  So I think that is what repentance means.  Turning away and not filling our minds with things that will foster the growth of sin and harm, and filling our minds of things that will promote growth of fruits of the spirit.

 

So what is faith?  Is it mere belief?  Is it academic assent?  Does faith require action?  I believe faith and action are intertwined.  Faith goes to the core of our being.  It is our philosophical outlook on life.  It guides and dictates our actions.  This goes back to repentance above.  As we fill our minds with the teachings of Christ, our faith with grow.  As our faith grows, our actions will reflect that through the manifestation of the fruits of the Spirit. 

 

Salvation is a free gift.  Yes.  That is true.  However, it is a costly gift as well.  It changes us at the core of our being.  It puts aside anger, selfishness, pride, lust, greed, etc. It kills those things which our in us.  The seeds will still be there and attempt to grow back, thus the eternal struggle we have during our lives.  It is also extraordinarily complex to describe what happens and how God accomplishes that work.  A description is not necessary to experience it.  Salvation is something we grow into.  We start of as babies, and Paul puts it, and then grow as we learn and follow the teachings of Christ. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Repentance is a change of mind. Once we thought our sin was fine, good, we were great with God and everything would work out in the end. Then we realized that our sin was evil, we were separated from God and going to hell. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgement, and I think these are the areas in which we change our mind when we repent as well. Now, a true change of mind will always result in us doing something differently. In the case of salvation, the only action that must take place in order for salvation to occur is that the sinner, having realized that they are a sinner, en route to hell and in need of a Savior, chooses to place their trust in Christ for salvation. "That they repent, turn to God, and do works meet for repentance." "This it the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent."  Everything else is sanctification. To add any other work to salvation itself is a works salvation.

Repentance is not us doing things differently or us filling our minds with different things. One, a sinner can't not sin. Two, the attempt to do so would be bringing works into salvation. Salvation is not something we grow into. It is an instantaneous event - a birth. Sanctification is where we grow, daily and yes, with struggle. But even that is God working in us and we responding in OBedience - we don't do the doing. He does. We do not save ourselves by our own actions, and we cannot sanctify ourselves by our own actions. 

 

"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not OBey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Whoah. I get what you're saying, but to say that if someone disagrees with your post they better make sure they're really saved is rather presumptuous, eh?

 

 

Nah, this may be the only real Bible post on this forum to date. Noones opinion here young lady.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...